August's special outing allowed The Oaks' staff and residents the chance to explore Essex's nature and wildlife, with 'twitching' at a nature reserve and by visiting a botanical lover's haven.

On the morning of Wednesday 9 August a group of residents and staff from The Oaks Care Home made a trip to Abberton Reservoir Visitor Centre in Layer-de-la-Haye, Colchester. Abberton Reservoir, part of the Essex Wildlife Trust, is a beautiful space, where the group took in stunning panoramic views across the Reservoir and surrounding villages, as well as superb views of the water’s edge from bird hides. 

The residents enjoyed spotting various protected species of birds, butterflies and inspects, including black swans, which were a firm favourite. The morning was complimented with tea and cake at the visitor centre.

In the afternoon, everyone travelled to The Beth Chatto Gardens, in Elmstead Market, Colchester. The Gardens were created by award winning gardener, author and lecturer Beth Chatto, who won 10 gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show, in 10 consecutive years, and this trip was inspired as she also designed the gardens and grounds that surround The Oaks Care Home. 

Everyone enjoyed viewing gardens, flowers, plants and shrubs, that are arranged over 15 acres of land, including a nursery which stocks over 2000 varieties of plants, many propagated from plants in the Gardens.

Lindsay Ridley, Activity Co-coordinator, said "The group thoroughly enjoyed the day out exploring, and are already looking forward to next month's outing. Many of our residents are keen gardeners, and enjoy wildlife, so it was lovely to take them to see nature local to us."


The Oaks explore Essex's wildlife at Abberton Reservoir and Beth Chatto's gardens.

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